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A ReVerse Poem From a Week I Wish I Could Reverse

Kat’s bird-feeding station in the Bramlett Mountain foothills – Spring 2022
The silence on my page might imply that I have not been writing much this week. But in fact I have written words every day. Verses, poems that went unfinished because I was distracted by the news of the day and all manner of war…against a sovereign democratic nation…against truth…against democracy itself…against women, most achingly distracted by the war against women in my own country, and feeling powerless to stop the coming tidal wave…as heartless people in power check us off, one by one. They won’t be satisfied with one victory…subjugating women, but will surely move on to dole out equal shares of misery on minorities that make them uncomfortable…people of color, LGBTQ people, non-evangelical christian people…who else will face their wrath before their thirst for blood is quenched? And even now, still, I wonder about the children…always the children who were ripped from their parents at our southern border. I pray for them every day. 

It’s a wonder I managed to write anything at all this week with this garbage swimming in my brain. So in the spirit of getting it out of my notebook and onto a proper page, this is a good time for a ReVerse. Would that I could reverse the cruelty of the humans who inhabit this planet…

I saw my first indigo bunting at the bird feeders yesterday…and a scarlet tanager…and a red breasted grosbeak. This is a first for me…three more beauties came to call, in person, just outside my window. All coexisting with the other birds, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels and deer who happen by my little bird feeding station every day. You know, Nature has been doing this much longer than we humans…living in harmony…in balance. We could learn a thing or two. All this to say…that wee flash of brilliant blue…my little friend, the indigo bunting gives me hope.

And with that…here’s the ReVerse of this past week’s poetry that I was unable to finish…

A ReVerse Poem From a Week I Wish I Could Reverse

i don’t want to write about this
there once was a town full of fools
true power doesn’t need to boast
we have forgotten what normal is
a moment, just a moment take
true power’s not up for debate
imposing their will on others until
remember all lives,
but only if you’re white, matter,
the rest are on their own
disdained after their first breath,
barefoot, pregnant, pregnant, pregnant, pregnant
heartbeats matter, breathing not so much
don’t ask, don’t tell
i don’t mind an overcast day or two
breathe in, breathe out,
you need a break
give it a rest
i worry for the innocents
but i know the sun is going to rise

~kat

A ReVerse poem (a practice I started many years ago) is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. 

Sunday’s ReVerse Poem – 25 October 2020

Blue Ridge Mountain Foot Hills aka My Back Yard October 2020 ~kat

It is autumn. The trees are turning, letting go. I should let go too. After a lifetime of clinging to expectations, you would think I’d have learned a thing or two. About letting go. About not holding on for too long, way past the point of no return. It’s a hazard of course, of optimism, of wishful thinking.

A dozen of more leaves drift from the treetops, settling softly on the damp ground as I imagine myself turning, turning. No amount of angst will change what is. Time to let go. Time to ride the wind instead of leaning into it full-faced, stubborn, unmoved. I wish you peace and health and love.


Sunday’s ReVerse – 25 October 2020

aflame in red, amber, gold,

listen to the wind and chill

there is no calm, no eye

I keep forgetting to breathe

barely forming waves, the air

this life is not for the feigned of heart

but half of us are wide awake

wintering beneath the dust

~kat


A ReVerse poem (a practice I started many years ago) is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week…or in this case, the past few weeks.


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 19 April 2020

last cookie
It’s easy to feel disoriented these days as we settle uncomfortably into a new normal. I am coping best by modifying my former routine while keeping it intact as much as possible. I work from home now; my cubicle set-up is tucked into a corner of my bedroom. It’s quite possible for me to never leave this room for hours, day into night into day into night…6-8 hours spent sleeping, another 8 or 9 hours working, depending on the day. It would be easy, but I have not let myself go there. In this bizarre reality, I am learning to get up from my desk, sit outside for a few minutes, eat lunch, not in front of my computer screen as I used to do, but at the dining room table. It’s ironic. I am getting better at work-life balance now that work requires no commute than I was ever able to do before.  

Then, there is the importance of self care. Rolling out of bed straight into my desk chair in my PJ’s is not something I consider to be healthy in the long run. While I have changed my waking hour to take advantage of the absence of commute time, I have continued to maintain my morning routine…shower, dress, freshen my face, brush my teeth and my hair, take the dogs for a walk, feed the bird, make myself a few slices of cinnamon-raisin toast with butter, brew myself a cup of tea with honey, feed and water the dogs, take in a bit of news. I am surviving this time of sheltering in by showing up everyday. Not that there is anything wrong with having a PJ and slipper kind of day. But I am doing my best to limit those days so they remain the guilty pleasures they were intended to be. 

Obviously, the animals I live with are disturbed by my constant presence. It is impossible now for them to nap uninterrupted, to wander the halls without having to entertain me. I am learning just how much they sleep while I slave to put kibble in their bowls. I love being home with them. But there is one thing I miss. It is their tail-flapping, wiggle-butt dancing, smiling, slobbery-jowl greetings at the door when I return from a long day away. Now when I pass by, I might get a lifted head, half-eye glance. “Meh, it’s you again…” It’s strange and a bit sad, this new normal…

It’s been over a month since I left my house, except to take trash to the landfill or pick up a few groceries. My one consolation is that I am here another week, infection-free to write to you. I hope you are faring well. That you and those you love are safe and healthy. If the fates are kind, I’ll see you again next week. Peace.


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 19 April 2020

the tea leaves in your cup have much to say
eat the last cookie
try to dribble out a coherent verse or three
the piper will change your soul…
everyone tells me it’s so, believe me
not trying to be distant
I had forgotten

~kat


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 5 April 2020

nightfallI used to live for weekends. We all did. During the week, 40 odd hours were not our own. We belonged to businesses, our bosses, the offices and cubicles, the worksites and workplaces that paid the bills and if we were lucky, we managed a few pennies to tuck away or spend on the glorious weekend. Our time. 

But these days many of us find the lines blurred between work and home. Our weekend destinations are shuttered. We are rattle around in our houses forced to find new ways to entertain ourselves. 

It’s hard not to write about this strange new normal we are all living. I suppose it is only normal to write from what one knows, and for me, for now, sheltering in, working from home, waiting for the storm to pass is what I know. 

I used to think of myself as solitary, contemplative. I liked being at home, keeping to myself, but for daily conversations with the Muse and snuggling with my furry housemates. But when forced to shelter in place, home changed. It feel less and less like the sanctuary I once loved. 

It takes effort to find new ways to notice my surroundings and to appreciate them. In fact, I am finding that there are all sorts of things I’ve never noticed before. Every moment is an opportunity to find the hidden treasures that have been here all along. I realize before this new reality, I had been living a superficial existence, content to exist on the surface of the familiar. But oh, the things I’ve missed in my busyness! I shall never take my freedom to move about in the world for granted going forward. But I have also fallen in love with the home that shelters and sustains me; the place that grounds me, where I can lay my head to sleep, the place where my soul keeps. 

Happy Sunday. Stay safe and well. Peace…


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 5 April 2020

i’m just listening to the wind
kitsch, in full, on crude display
crimson flushed, vexed by this calamity’s cruel din
it is quiet, oh so quiet, but for chattering birdsong, and rustling
don’t believe in everything you see
my mind won’t let me go to sleep

~kat


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.


Sunday’s ReVerse – March 29, 2020

We will be forever changed when this storm passes. And pass it will, though some of us will not live to see it. My hope is that those of us left behind emerge from our seclusion with a new appreciation for each other, gratefulness and respect for the heroes in our midst, not celebrities or athletes or Marvel masked characters or high level politicians, but the healthcare workers, the first responders, the restauranteurs who are keeping us fed, some delivering to our doors, the grocery store clerks, the delivery drivers, the mail carriers…those who press on and serve us at a distance and in our time of great need. Thank you. Thank you all.

Staying inside to stop the spread, as so many of us have been called to do, is such a small price to pay to help us all arrive safely on the other side. We will all be forever changed. Hopefully, we will emerge a kinder people. We are truly in this together.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind, breathe. Today’s reVerse, gleaned over the past few months, kind of says it all. I’ll leave you with that! Peace to you my friends. Peace. ❤️


Sunday’s ReVerse – March 29, 2020

gentle dark descending
through shuttered curtain slits,
Until next glimpse…
each day, the simple gift of life
death looms in the shadows seeking
in silver and want
morning’s icy breath lingered
if only for a season
but here behind these looming walls,
soft blush of blooms on the breeze
on pause, love draws near…from a distance
causing me to sigh
soon comes the dawn

~kat


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.(or in this case, the last several months).


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